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At the Wilbur, Franken takes to the air

The marquee outside the Wilbur Theatre announces: ''Little Women -- The Broadway Musical" with Maureen McGovern. But inside it was all Al Franken, who broadcast his three-hour radio show live from Boston yesterday. Part of the left-leaning Air America lineup (1200 AM/1430 AM), Franken hosted a few of his like-minded friends, including congressman Barney Frank (on the phone from D.C.), Harvard prof and constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe, and Robert Putnam, author of ''Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community." Ever comfortable in front of a crowd, Franken cued his enthusiastic audience when to sing along, when to clap, and when to pipe down.

Kidman, Urban said to make Hub stop

Cute Aussie couple Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban called Boston home over the weekend. According to The Star, the pair put their feet up in a $1,900-a-night suite at XV Beacon while spending time with Urban's mom, Marienne, who lives in Tennessee. The mag reports that Nic and Keith strolled Beacon Hill wearing matching ballcaps. They ''looked like a couple from Bangor, Maine!" one gawker gabbed to The Star. Contacted yesterday, GM William Sander said a large group checked in at 3 a.m. over the weekend, but he could not confirm that Kidman was part of the group.

What more do they need?

If what we're told is true, and Larry Summers will wed Elisa New on or about Dec. 11, time's running out to get them a gift. (The couple, who've been an item for about four years, confirmed their engagement last month.) Yesterday, we checked several online wedding registries -- Tiffany's, Target, Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, and Victoria's Secret -- and neither the Harvard prez nor his fiancee, an English professor at the World's Greatest University, shows up. . . . Jimmy Buffett paid a visit to the ballpark on Yawkey Way yesterday to mark the release of his new CD and DVD, ''Live at Fenway Park," recorded in 2004. Standing on the right-field roof, the principal Parrothead was asked if he might consider becoming the Bosox GM. Maybe, said Buffett, but only if the team moves to St. Bart's and plays exclusively day games. Today, Buffett's at Harvard's Institute of Politics to talk to a class taught by his old friend, former Florida Senator Bob Graham.

Milford fifth-grader Beau Barrows sure had something to show and tell yesterday. As part of the NFL's ''Take a Player to School" program, Barrows got to hang out with Pats linebacker Willie McGinest at Stacey Middle School. The nationwide program in NFL cities encourages kids to stay in school.

Belichick passes book money to charity

Unexpectedly, David Halberstam's new book about Bill Belichick is benefiting an Acton-based nonprofit. Seems the Pats coach eschewed payment for the book and instead pledged his share of the royalties to AccesSportAmerica. In his book, ''The Education of a Coach," Halberstam describes the organization as ''an extraordinary group to which the Belichick family is committed, which brings formidable athletic challenges . . . to children and adults with serious physical or developmental disabilities." Friday at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel, the Rev. Ross Lilley, the executive director of the group, will thank the Belichicks for their efforts, and Bill's wife, Debby, is expected to be on hand.

Rockers turn out for a Gentleman

A swarm of indie scenesters surprised Ed Valauskas on his 38th birthday the other night. Among those wishing the Gentlemen's bassist well were Juliana Hatfield, Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz, songwriters Brett Rosenberg and Jen Trynin, Q Division owners Mike Denneen and Jon Lupfer, and ''Little Children" author Tom Perrotta. . . . If you want to see the Thomas Hirschhorn exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art, you'll have to wait. The Boston Fire Department has shut it down, concerned that visitors would have trouble exiting the Boylston Street building in case of an emergency. ''It's a very dense show, and we've never done an exhibition like this before," ICA flack Melissa Kuronen said. ''They don't want us to be closed any more than we want to be closed." The museum hopes to reopen the show later this week. . . . Veteran stage and TV actress Deborah Offner (below), who plays a Newton radio talk-show host in the Huntington Theatre's production of ''The Sisters Rosensweig," appeared on WNTN-AM's ''1550 Today" show yesterday, talking to real-life Newton radio host Sybil Tonkonogy.

Geoff Edgers of the Globe staff contributed. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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